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Free Dental Clinic: Are Your Kids Eligible?

By Pam Johnson

Publication: Shore Publishing

Published January 21. 2013 4:00AM   Updated January 23. 2013 9:20AM

On Feb. 6, Mendillo Family Dentistry will dedicate a day to Give Kids a Smile, in conjunction with American Dental Association's national program, now in its 11th year. The Branford practice will open its doors (and chairs) to an estimated 30 to 40 pre-registered Branford children in need of dental services.

Dr. James Mendillo and other members of his staff have volunteered at past Give Kids a Smile clinics at University of New Haven, performing everything from routine cleaning to restoratives, extractions, and root canals. Mendillo Family Dentistry will host its own clinic for the first time this year as part of the practice's community outreach services. Pre-registration for the program is required and is being handled through Branford Counseling Center.

"We're dedicating the office and the day so we'll be pretty occupied, screening and cleaning and determining needs," said Dr. Mendillo. "Obviously we don't want them in pain, and to be able to eat. The function of mouth has to do with overall health, nutrition, and hygiene-we'll be looking at those things."

Two dentists and three dental assistants will be among a staff of a dozen running the clinic from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Mendillo Family Dentistry, 62 Kirkham Street in Branford.

Pre-registration is required for qualifying children from underserved Branford families. To determine your child's eligibility to receive free dental care, contact Pat Andriole at Branford Counseling Center at 203-481-4248. Services will provided to eligible children pre-registered on a first-come, first-served basis.

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